The State of Origin squads were announced on Tuesday, and naturally, many stars missed out on selection for a variety of reasons – injury, load management or simply being overlooked.
Zero Hanger has taken this list and made a combined ‘Best of the Rest’ side of 22 players who will not play in next Friday’s bushfire relief match at Marvel Stadium. And there is some serious star power in our line-up!
Four of the last year’s six All-Australian defenders are in our squad – Tom Stewart and Jeremy McGovern suffered setbacks over the pre-season, causing their absence from the Origin side.
Dylan Grimes, Dane Rampe, Zac Williams and Shannon Hurn were not selected by Damien Hardwick or John Longmire, but we found a spot for them all.
Our team is dominated by the Eagles who boast the most players of any club with six representatives. McGovern and Hurn are joined by teammates Tim Kelly, Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey and Jack Darling.
West Coast opted for a conservative approach towards player selection for Origin, hence their strong presence in our team.
Injuries ruled out many big guns from the State of Origin game, with perhaps none bigger than Max Gawn, who would have been the walk-up Victorian ruckman. Well, he headlines our team.
All-Stars forward trio Lance Franklin, Ben Brown and Issac Heeney are also amongst the big names who were also ruled out due to injury.
Gary Ablett and Jordan De Goey were both unlucky to miss out on selection but were likely under load management restriction.
Tom Mitchell and Sam Docherty would both been almost certain selections for Origin, but miss out as they recover from long-term injuries.
Josh Dunkley has been selected on the interchange for our squad over the likes of Adam Treloar, Zach Merrett, Clayton Oliver and Joel Selwood. Dunkley has fast established himself as a future star of the competition after a blistering 2019 season.
So… how would this team fare against Victoria and the All-Stars?
STATE OF ORIGIN BEST OF THE REST SQUAD
B: Dayne Rampe (Sydney Swans), Dylan Grimes (Richmond), Tom Stewart (Geelong)
HB: Zac Williams (GWS), Jeremy McGovern (West Coast), Shannon Hurn (West Coast)
C: Hugh McCluggage (Brisbane Lions), Tim Kelly (West Coast), Andrew Gaff (West Coast)
HF: Travis Boak (Port Adelaide), Lance Franklin (Sydney Swans), Issac Heeney (Sydney Swans)
F: Gary Ablett (Geelong), Ben Brown (North Melbourne), Jordan De Goey (Collingwood)
Foll: Max Gawn (Melbourne), Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn), Luke Shuey (West Coast)
I/C: Sam Docherty (Carlton), Dion Prestia (Richmond), Josh Dunkley (Western Bulldogs), Jack Darling (West Coast)